After a Covid-induced hiatus, X-Treme Running Camp will return to Lodestar Park from July 26 to 30. This will be the camp’s 20th year.
Directed by Guy Gordon, the boys and girls cross country coach at Kittatinny Regional High School, the camp prepares not just runners but all athletes for their fall seasons.
“Workouts consist of a combination of building endurance and speed, and the venue at Lodestar Park affords us lots of varying terrain,” Gordon said.
Guest speakers include four-time Olympian Marcus O’Sullivan, power motivator Cornell Thomas, running coach and author Mark Will-Weber, Pope John coach Brian Corcoran, Morris Hills coach Sean Robinson, Roxbury coach, Brendan Donegan, running form expert and physical therapist Janice Morra, running stand-out Justin Scheid, and running shoe specialist Kevin Higgins.
“For as many years as I’ve been running, I always come away from X-Treme with some new insight or knowledge,” said long-time camp counselor Albert Siuta.
The camp is open to kids in grades six through 12, and campers are grouped according to ability. The kids learn a lot and do a lot of training, but all in a fun atmosphere.
“This camp really motivated me and was a big factor in my success this season,” said Molly Riva, who qualified for the prestigious Meet of Champions as a freshman and who will be Kittatinny’s captain in the fall.
“One of the great things about this camp is that it isn’t just good for runners, it caters to all athletes in all sorts of different sports,” said O’Sullivan, who coaches at Villanova University and spends his summers in Layton. “It’s a great combination of speed and endurance training with a lot of motivation thrown in.”
The camp started 20 years ago at Swartswood State Park and then moved to Lodestar, which offers a wider variety of diverse landscapes and hills for training. Each day of camp features varying drills, games, races, and guest speakers each day of the week.
“There are three things that make you a good runner: you must have the interest, the attitude and the discipline,” said Olympic gold medalist, Peter Rono, who has spoken at the camp in the past. “Sussex County is one of the best areas to train. The terrain around here is absolutely wonderful.”
“This camp is all about instilling the proper discipline and culture it takes to be a successful runner,” Corcoran, the Pope John coach, said.
Thomas will be this year’s lead-off speaker. Known as an international force of motivation, he sets the tone for the camp on the first day.
“This camp is unlike any other,” Thomas said. “Two guest speakers per day, constant motivation, and non stop action.”